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Could Railroad Retirement Benefits Ever Be Reduced?
(Posted May 3, 2010)
Question 749: When Railroad Retirement was set up, was there anything built into the guidelines that would allow for a reduction in monthly benefits for retirees if the cost of living was reduced or if the economy took a dive? My question is, could the federal government reduce retirees benefits under any circumstance?
Answer: Even if the cost of living goes down, as it did in 2009, benefits are not reduced. Of course, the benefit structure is part of the Railroad Retirement Act, so the law could be amended by a majority vote of both Houses of the Congress if it is then approved by the President. Benefits never have been reduced in the 75-year history of the Railroad Retirement program. It is unlikely this will ever happen.
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